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Don’t Compare Your Life to Someone’s Highlight Reel

Don’t Compare Your Life to Someone’s High-Light Reel“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
Lao Tzu

Today I’d like to focus on a negative habit that creates insecurity within, erodes self-esteem and can make you feel quite unhappy with your own life.

It’s something that has sprung up as we have moved a part of our lives on to the internet and social media.

And that habit is to compare yourself and your life to other people’s highlight reels.

What do I mean by that?

That it’s so easy to start comparing your life to the lives of friends, old classmates or celebrities of all sizes as you each day see how perfect their homes, kids, love lives are and how filled their lives are with wonderful moments.

But is that their whole lives that is shared on Facebook and Instagram?

Usually not.

It's just the highlight reel of that person’s life. The positive moments.

And it’s natural thing really, to want to share such moments or days with your friends or followers.

Now, for some people this may develop into something destructive.

Into a way of creating a more perfect image of one’s life to get that hit of instant gratification as people add positivity via comments, likes and upvotes.

But everyone has problems at times.

They fail. Get sick. Have flaws, bad days or negative habits.

No matter who you are or what you look like or do.

I have those issues too. Just like anyone else.

I still stumble and fall on some days. Doubt myself or am pessimistic from time to time. That’s human.

So don’t strive for being perfect or measuring yourself against someone else’s highlight reel.

Here are three healthier steps you can take instead:

Step 1: Compare in a smarter way. 

There will always be people who have more or nicer things than you.

Or are better than you at something. No matter what you do.

So if you want to compare then do it in a way that won't make you feel envious and inferior.

Do it by comparing yourself to yourself. See how far you have come. Look back at the obstacles you have overcome, what you have learned and how you have grown.

Step 2: Spend your energy and time on what matters the most. 

Step by step spend the hours in your day and week on building habits that will make you a better person and a happier one too.

For example, aim at being optimistic 70% of the time if you have been it maybe 50% in the past month.

Or, for starters, find just one idea and action-step you can take to make a bit of extra money (and to begin reducing your financial worries).

Step 3: Let go of what drags you down. 

If necessary unsubscribe or remove social media accounts from your flow if you feel they are dragging you down and lowering your self-esteem. Even if those things might also be entertaining right now.

Life isn't just a highlight reel no matter who shares it.

So look beyond that, remember that everyone is human and stop comparing yourself to that limited view of someone.

In the long run you’ll be happy that you did.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Thank you so much, Henrik! Good approach…

  • samudio

    This really hit the nail on the head with a problem i’ve had for years now…. Thanks for this

  • So much doom and gloom around. It’s great to see a positive blog such as yours!

  • Really great post. You’re right, our addiction to Social Media is directly responsible for the deep feelings of inadequacy and discontent so many people struggle with these days. We forget that very few people post about the reality of their daily lives on sites like Instagram or Facebook. When we see a post about someone’s amazing vacation or how gloriously happy they are with their perfect new baby, etc… We have to remember that we’re only seeing the shiny, happy bits.

    That amazing vacation may be putting them deeper into debt. That perfect baby may cry every night for six hours. And so on. We also have to remember anyone we compare ourselves to, has just as many – sometimes more – real life struggles as the rest of us.

    When I feel the instinctive urge to compare someone’s seemingly perfect life to my own, instead I try really hard to be inspired rather than envious and to be aware of the importance of compassion over resentment.

  • Clarice Latayan

    Very Nice. Thanks for this ??

  • Lovely words. It’s so completely true. We tend to view the super amazing things happening in other people’s lives and wonder why we aren’t experiencing the same thing. We need to remember that we have super amazing things happening in our lives too.

  • Andrea

    Thank you so much, I needed to hear that.

  • Venkata mohan reddy G

    It really true.. to think and grow but Dont compare with others.
    Thanks henrik for sharing the most important topic of our daily life.
    Pls continue to share more subjects on realistic facts.

  • Thank you Hendrik. True and wise words and suggestions. A while ago I took my profile off of Facebook. A remark to the “social” part of media: not one of my so called former friends did notice it or say a word or even contacted me by text or email about not being on Facebook anymore. So, where is the social part?? The way I feel and think and “tick” is…we are social if we meet, chat, hug, laugh, and pray together in person, if we help each other and pray for each other and look into each others eyes instead of gazing at a polished media post hitting the “like” button.
    Wishing you all a blessed day and week.. Keep being social to be the change that you would like to see in the world…it all starts with ourselves ?

  • Jan

    Thanks as always Henrik. Being of a more ‘advanced age’ let’s say, I steer well clear of most social media. And glad to say my children (in their early-mid 20’s) tend to do the same. It can be a force for good, but so often leads to envy and feelings of inadequacy. Good to see it for what it is.

  • Victhur

    I taught you had a message on blogging ….

  • ron hollahan

    Thank you henrik..very insightful& so true.. tks again for your knowledge ?

  • C. Christie Gorman-McCarthy

    I share your blog with friends and strangers alike. You are filling a great need. Sometimes it is simple, but we don’t let ourselves think it until we read it. Thank you for helping yourself and all those around you. We need it!

  • Maxwell Precious

    Thanks for this post. Social media post can, and in most cases, are highly sugar coated to project what is non-existent: self-love, happiness, happy marriage, and well-written shout-outs.

  • Olia

    I found for myself the fourth way to look at it – to admire people or be happy for their achievements without comparing with myself. This way I get inspired and motivated and am open to learning how I can also get to where they are instead of feeling like I’m less.